Mar 192015

Ladybower and Black Tor walk.

Distance: 15.25 km (approx 9.5 miles)
Time: approx 4hrs 15mins
Height gained: 536 m
Map: OL1 – The Peak District – Dark Peak Area
Parking: Lay-by SK172893
Refreshments: None on route (but some nearby at the Vistors’ Centre SK172893)

View the route in OS Openspace: Ladybower and Black Tor (opens in a new bowser window)

From the parking area, cross the road and take the bridleway just the bridleway on the right just before the viaduct (point 1). Follow the well-surfaced path alongside the reservoir. At point 2, it joins a minor road. Continue on, passing a few properties, an aqueduct across the reservoir and a telephone box on the left.

At point 3, the dam of Derwent Reservoir comes into sight. If you feel a need for refreshments (or the loo. carry on along the road and it soon sweeps left in an arc to the Visitor’s Centre (point 4). I did not take this option so can’t comment on the facilities.

If you don’t want the facilities at the Visitor Centre, fork right at point 3, passing through a gate and on to a well-surfaced bridleway, soon passing alongside Derwent reservoir. In around another 1 km, watch for a footpath on the right (point 5) and get for a climb out of the valley and on to the moor. The path jig jags up the hill and does not follow the line of the oath shown on the map; the way forward is obvious, though. AT point 6, follow the line of the fence to a corner with another fence and turn to the south initially still following a fence line before swinging left and heading towards the obvious peak of “Lost Lad” (point 7).

The going is good and just before the final climb to the Lost lad, there is a stepped path. Once at the summit, enjoy the 360 deg view and there is a topograph showing the direction of distant feature. All the significant climbing is now finished and it’s an easy path to the next objective of Black Tor (point 8). It is difficult to miss as someone has painted the old trig. point in white paint so it really stands out. I would suggest a rest here, plenty of rocky ledges to sit and it’s easy to find somewhere out of the wind.

Our way forward is now southerly and there is an excellent path laid using natural rocks. It follows the edge of Derwent Edge passing Dovestone Tor (point 9) Salt Cellar to Wheel Stones. After passing Dovestone Tor, the rock path finishes and, at the time of my visit, the path carrying on was being improved using a mix of a heather base with a sand and gravel top. I had the impression that the original path was through a bog for most of the way!

Still heading south beyond Wheel Stones, ignore the crossing track and pass Hurkling Stones. At the next crossing path (point 11), turn right (west) to drop steeply down a badly eroded gully, ignoring the bridleway to the right. The gully soon finishes and swing south again to head towards firstly woods on the right and then onwards to enter the woods themselves. There’s a minor ascent but nothing to trouble the legs.

Come out of the woods through a gate at point 12, swing sharply right to head west on a tarmaced road and there should be views of the car parked below in the layby. The way back is now obvious.

Feb 032011

Distance: 10.8 km
Time: approx 3hrs
Height gained: 300m
Map: Outdoor Leisure OL24 – The White Peak
Parking: Layby adj. to new Bridge, A625 (SK 244753)
Refreshments: Pub, Grindlefor (just off route – SK 243775 )

View the route in OS Openspace: Curbar, Curbar Edge and Longshaw

Route: New Bridge – Curbar Church – Curbar – Curbar Edge – Froggatt Edge – Hay Wood – Grindleford – Horse Hay Coppice – Spooner Lane – Froggatt Bridge – New Bridge

Jan 012005

A previous visit to Dovedale some 2 years earlier saw extemely wet conditions and flooding in Dovedale itself. This year, I had been hoping for better conditions – maybe even a cold bright winter’s day with a hard frost. Alas, I was to be disappointed as the day was very grey and the ground quite waterlooged from previous rain; at least there was no flooding, though! Nevertheless, the walk through Dovedale is worth it regardless of the conditions.

Distance: 17.3 km (approx 10¾ miles)
Time: approx 5 hrs
Height gained: 472 m
Map: Explorer OL24 – The White Peaks
Parking: Parwich (SK 190543)
Refreshments: Seasonal small take-way at Milldale (SK 148548)
“Peverill of the Peak” Hotel (SK 157506)
“Sycamore Inn”, Parwich (SK187547)

View the route in OS Openspace: Parwich, Dovedale & Tissington

The starting point for this walk was for me partly dictated by the fact that I had rented a cottage in Parwich but in reality can be started from anywhere on the route. I would recommend the site of the old station at Alsop on the A515 on the Tissington Trail at SK 155549)

Leave the village following the country lane to Alsop. Just after the end of the speed restriction signs, take a path on the L and climb diagonally R across and up the hill. Pass through a squeeze stile (the first of what seems like a hundred or so!) and continue on to cross another stile to join a walled path coming in from R. Continue on heading W and keeping to the ridge. Path to the L of Parwich Lees through what seems like parkland and drop down to cross a lane. Climb another stile into the field and head SW to a stile by a gate still going downhill. After climbing the stile, head still SW and climb fairly steeply uphill, heading for the high point. Pass to the L of a small copse.

The Tissington Trail should now be visible; head towards a bridge under it and continue immediately into a field straight ahead (do not take the more welcoming farm track on the R) and head up to the main A515. Climb a stile and watch carefully to cross the road to turn R and walk along the grass verge. Take the next minor road on L (signed “Alstonefield” and “Milldale”). The short stretch of road walking is almost a welcome relief after the mud of the fields. Just after the 13% road gradient sign, watch for a path on the L. Take this and follow initially generally NW, then SW. Soon there are good views on the R towards the N end of Milldale and the River Dove, then the weirs of the river before soon seeing the lovely little Viator’s Bridge. The path drops very steeply down to the river. With luck, the little cafe in Milldale will be open and offer a range of snacks and drinks.

I had planned to walk on the R bank of the river for a change but having experienced the conditions underfoot earlier, I decided to follow the very popular well-maintained path on the left bank again. So, recrossing the bridge, follow the path S with the river a joyous companion for the next 2 or so miles. This path is extremely popular even in the depths of winter so put on a brave face to the masses and give them a cheery greeting as you pass (or do as some people do and refuse to make eye contact!)

There are many interesting geologic rock formations along this part of the walk. However, I will not be describing any of them and if you want to know more, type “Dovedale” into a search engine and I’m sure you will soon be deluged with information! Apart from a stiff up-and-over a rocky crop all this is very easy walking so enjoy it while it lasts. All too soon, we emerge from the narrow confines and are confronted with the huge Thorpe Cloud rock. This is the first of the string of hills that go now all the way up and beyond the border with Soctland. If you’re still feeling energetic, then its a good climb to the top (but remember that there’s still 2hrs of the walk to go yet!) This is a good place to stop for a breather and watch the world and his wife either huffing and puffing up Thorpe Cloud or else trying to cross the greasy stepping stones across the river to the Staffordshire bank. Alas, no-one fell in whilst I was watching!

Leave the river and the hordes and continue to head generally S climbing up Lindale. Keep to the L at the foot of Hamston Hill and after the brow of the hill, The “Peverill of the Peak” hotel will we seen. Still going L and heading E and then NE to follow the wall and pick up Limestone Way which will be our route back to Parwich. The going under foot is gain very difficult in places. At a turn L to head H before very shortly going R across stiles heading NE again. Cross a minor road and continue on into field all the time heading generally NE. Emerge on to a road and turn R to climb up to the main A515. Continue straight across through an impressive gateway (alas one of the gate pillars has collapsed) now following the minor road into Tissington down a tree-lined avenue.

The village is well worth exploring and it looks as they little has changed over hundreds of years (well, if you ignore the tourists, the TV aerials, the cars…). Our route is up and through the churchyard. Do not take the obvious path to the other side of the churchyard but instead go across the grass and pass through a gate out in to the field. Cross diagonally to the L across the field and then head N to emerge on to a minor road. Cross the road and continue on through the next field. Turn R on to a farm track Follow this now heading generally NE and pass over the Tissington Trail. The track swings L as it drops down towards the farm and as it straightens out again there is a sign on the R to “Parwich 1½ miles”. Drop down to cross the brook and then one last climb of the day back up on to the ridge before dropping down to the village. The car or the cottage is then just a few steps away!

A wonderful day out and it’s reminded me of why I like coming to Derbyshire whenever I can.

Jan 012003

Distance: 13.9 km (approx 8.6 miles)
Time: approx 3hrs
Height gained: (Not recorded)
Map: Outdoor Leisure 24
Parking: Parwich (SK 190543)
Refreshments: Pubs at Parwich (SK 187543) and Fenny Bentley (SK 175499),
Refreshment kiosk at Tissington (SK 177520)

View the route in OS Openspace: Parwich, Fenny Bentley & Tissington (opens in a new window)

From Parwich, leave in the SE direction and walk to where the road turns sharp left. Bear right and follow a track past the sewage works. Continue on a footpath, now heading more of less to the south where the track turns right into a field. Pass Sitterlow Farm and continue straight on, ignoring the farm tack as it swings up hill. As the path contours around the hill, turn to the left and make for a footbridge in the bottom RH corner of the field. Head up hill, crossing a stile. There is no clear route on the ground, but head to the left of the peak do not climb it as you will have to come down part of the way again. I learnt the hard way! Watch for another stile still heading upwards and then carry on, keeping the way on the right. Cross a minor road and descend to Lea Cottage Farm. Bear right before the farmhouse itself and climb uphill again, now heading generally SW. Follow the farm track for a way and watch for a valley starting to form on the right. As the track approaches the trees on the right, drop down to the valley and look for a stile. This can be difficult to find. Cross the stream, and turn slightly to the left and head uphill.

The next stile should be on the skyline. At the time of my walk, cattle had been in the field until fairly recently and had churned what should be grass into a very clinging mud. Climb the stile and then drop down hill again to cross another stream, this time by a planked bridge. However, at the two gateways either side of the stream , it was extremely muddy under foot. After another stile, there is the welcome sight of a tarmaced farm track and walking now is bliss in comparison the past mile or so! Continue SW past Woodeaves Farm, dropping downhill still. Pass a sign pointing, reassuringly, to Fenny Bentley. Just before Woodeaves Mill, turn sharp right and head NW on another metalled farm track. Immediately before the Farm, turn right and now head generally W all the time towards the noise from the traffic on the A515. At the main road, turn R then cross the road (caution – blind bend either way!) and head into the church yard. Now heading SW again, keep the wall on the left and pass through a garden or two to emerge in front of the school. Keep straight on across a field to a farm track. Ignore the footpath sign pointing straight ahead but turn R and then left a sign pointing to Thorpe. Now heading W. climb the hill, again very boggy.

Continue across the stile and the Tissington Trail should soon be seen. At the next stile, head NW towards an obvious bridge on the Tissington Trail. Cross a footbridge over a stream, pass under the Tissington Trail and immediately turn R to climb on to the Trail itself. Our route to the left (heading N) but just a few metres to the R is a welcome picnic table and a shelter at the site of the old Thorpe station. The Tissington Trail is a popular route and shared with cyclists and horse riders so keep an ear out for those. The novelty of a well-drained and hard surface of the Trail very quickly palls as the Trail enters the Fenny Bentley cutting and views become almost non-existent – never mind! Continue on the Tail as it passes through the site of the old Tissington station, heading now NE. The Trail starts to swing NW and views open out to the NE. As an overbridge appears, keep an eye out on the left for a diverging path. Follow this to a metalled track and turn right to cross the Trail. As the tracks swings round to the left, watch for a footpath sign pointing R to Parwich. Descend the hill, heading NE towards to obvious ascent ahead. The ascent is fairly steep but is soon over. Cross a stile and the end of the route is soon visible. Keep the field boundary to your left at first and watch for a stile on the left towards the base of the hill. Cross the stile and drop down to the road in Parwich.A very satisfying jaunt no matter what the weather or the conditions underfoot.